Best Spice And Herb Storage Tips ~ I have tried a few different storage methods over the years and through trial and error as well as a lot of research I have come up with the best spice and herb storage tips.
There are so many different kinds of spices and herbs available. I love having a variety in my spice and herb collection to add to my cooking and baking. It is amazing how one or a few spices or herbs can totally enhance the flavour of a dish.
I see a spice and herb collection as a financial investment because they can be quite pricey. I have over forty different kinds in my collection. If I roughly calculate that I paid about $5.00 for each one that totals to about $200.00. It also isn’t like they are a one-time purchase. Spices and herbs are consumables and need to be replenished. This is an investment that I want to take care of and the best way I can do that is to make sure they are properly stored.
Difference Between Spices And Herbs
Have you ever wondered what the difference is between a spice and an herb? It actually is pretty easy to figure out.
Herbs use the leafy part of the plant can be used fresh or dried. Examples of common herbs are basil, oregano and thyme. I even like to grow herbs fresh in the summer and I share how to do that in Milk Cartons Turned Into Chalkboard Paint Herb Pots.
Spices come from any other part of the plant that has been dried. It can include the berries, roots, seeds, flower parts or even the bark. I remember taking a tour of the Brisbane Botanic Gardens in Brisbane, Australia while I was visiting my daughter a couple of years ago and walking through the Fragrant Plant And Herb Garden’. It was very interesting to learn that cinnamon comes from the inner bark of the Cassia tree!
There are some plants that produce both an herb and a spice. For example the Cilantro plant and Dill Weed produce both the leafy herb and a spice that comes from the seeds. Coriander seeds come from the Cilantro plant and dill seed comes from the Dill Plant.
Here Are The Best Spice And Herb Storage Tips…
Best Storage Conditions For Spices And Herbs
The bad news is that spices and herbs are actually quite picky about where they like to be stored in order to maintain their quality and freshness. The good news is that their storage requirements are very doable. They don’t like exposure to air, heat and moisture. They prefer to be stored in a cool dark place out of direct sunlight and away from humidity.
Best Shelf Life For Spice And Herb Storage
Spices and herbs actually have a pretty good shelf life. They key is to only buy amounts that will be used in a reasonable amount of time and to toss spices and herbs that are no longer fresh and fragrant. Spices and herbs don’t go bad but they lose their quality of freshness over time.
Here is a PDF printable I created for you to use as a handy reference to help you track the shelf life of your spices and herbs. I recommend printing and leaving it near where you keep your spices and herbs.
Best Storage Containers For Spice And Herb Storage
There are a lot of things to consider when selecting what to use to store you spices and herbs. Things like storage space available, availability of containers and cost influence the decision. Over the years I have tried different types of storage containers including the original containers the product came in. The problem with this choice is that it usually costs more compared to buying in bulk. The other issue for me was they all came in different shapes and sizes storage a problem. I have tried using plastic containers because they were less expensive to buy but I found the spices and herbs did not stay as fresh as long.
For several years I stored them in these metal containers that I bought at the dollar store.
I found there were several problems with this storage choice. I could not get a tight seal because of the hole at the rim of each lid and container. I always had to be careful to make sure the hole was covered or inevitably I would have a spillage problem. The other issue I noticed is that the lid and container warped over time. The lid always seemed to get stuck and it became difficult to remove and replace. It became quite frustrating process just to be able to add a spice or herb to a recipe.
I finally found the solution that I am really happy with. I now store my spices and herbs in these glass jars that I was able to find at the dollar store for yes… one dollar each.
I bought larger jars for the ones that I use more frequently and smaller ones for the ones that I use less frequently.
These jars are perfect because they are made of glass and have a tight fitting and easy to remove lid. I love that they are transparent so I can easily see the contents. Not only does it look pretty to show off all of the textures and colours of the spices and herbs but I can also quickly see how much of each one is left in the jar.
Best Way To Label Spice And Herb Storage Containers
There are several different options for labeling the jars. I love the look of creating chalk labels but decided to label all of the jars with clear transparent labels made with a label maker. The reason for this is so the labels did not block being able to see the contents in the jars. I also wanted labels that were easy to remove if need be and more importantly could be washed along with the jar. These are important considerations when storing food.
Best Location For Spice And Herb Storage
Since herbs and spices do not like being exposed to direct sunlight, heat and moisture it makes sense to not store them near the window, stove or the sink. Rather it makes better sense to store them in a closed cupboard, drawer or pantry. I am lucky to have a large walk-in pantry in my kitchen. I have a wire storage rack on one wall where I keep my spice and herb collection.
Did you notice the black and white satin pouch hanging from the wire shelving? This is where I stored my fresh garlic and explain why in Best Way To Store Fresh Garlic.
I even bought the larger jars to store other pantry basics like baking soda, baking powder and cornstarch.
Best Way To Organize Spice And Herb Storage
There are different methods you can use for organizing your spices and herbs including alphabetically, by category, or by frequency of use. My sister-n-law stores her collection in a drawer and has them all lined up alphabetically. My mother-n-law stores hers in a cupboard on a Lazy Susan. The more frequently used ones are around the outside and the less frequently used ones are tucked in the middle.
I tend to use all three systems. The smaller jars are stacked on two wire shelves. The spices and herbs that start with the letters A-G are on one shelf and the ones starting with the letters H-Z are housed on a shelf underneath. The more frequently used ones sit at the top of each stack and the less frequently used ones sit on the bottom. I also created a category of white powders that are used in cooking and they sit on a third wire shelf.
So these are the Best Spice And Herb Storage Tips to help ensure that your investment is conveniently stored and kept fresh for as long as possible. Hope these tips help! I would love to hear your thoughts and what you do to store your collection.
I have created a pinnable image for you to pin for future reference and for sharing…
This is where I share my Ideas For An Organized Pantry where you can see what the rest of my pantry looks like. I share quite a few tips and ideas to help you organize your pantry.
In the meantime take care,